10 Second Ninja X Review
10 Second Ninja X is perhaps best described as the kind of game that breaks controllers. Ten seconds to clear each level sounds easy enough, but this is a game where every millisecond counts.
Designed for hardcore perfectionists who enjoy replaying and refining runs through levels, 10 Second Ninja X is a burst platformer with a simple goal: Kill all the robots in each level within ten seconds.
Of course, it’s not quite that straightforward. You’ll run into a whole bunch of obstacles and tricky setups that will cause you to pause and try to figure out how to progress, including switches to adjust level layouts, shuriken-reflecting elastic, and endless electrified areas which will kill you repeatedly.
Again. Again. Again!
Gameplay and controls are simple: Run and jump around levels, with one button for a melee sword slash and another to throw one of your shurikens for piercing, long-range takedowns. You’ll be limited to three shurikens per run, however, and these quickly become a tricky resource to figure out where and how they’re best used.
Enemies usually die in one hit, although you’ll soon meet tougher foes, such as shielded robots who require an additional hit, or electrified robots which have to be taken out from afar. Many levels will seem like they have more than three shuriken worth of adversaries, so you’ll have to think fast about how to best take out those targets.
You’re rated up to three stars depending on how fast you can clear a level, and your early attempts are likely to be stuck on one star, two at best. The elusive three star rating for each level takes figuring out and performing the optimum route. This is not an easy game to master.
10 Second Ninja X doesn’t completely leave you unaided, however; you’re able to consume hint tokens to watch a ghost successfully play through a level at three-star rating. You can start farming these tokens from a mini-game, though it gets progressively harder. Spend those tokens wisely.
Gameplay is tough but addictive, and you’ll be restarting levels untold times, especially if you want to reach the leaderboards. Every level has its own timed leaderboard, and 10 Second Ninja X essentially revolves around the bragging rights from dominating them. Getting up to the top isn’t easy, however — as players get more practice at the game, the top positions will be separated by a handful of milliseconds.
If you’re playing 10 Second Ninja X on PC, grabbing a controller to play is a must — not only does it make gameplay easier, but the keyboard controls are very sloppy. Constantly moving your hands away from the control keys in order to hit the restart key is extremely annoying and hurts the intended seamless flow of restarting and playing.
While the bulk of 10 Second Ninja X is the hundred levels on offer, you’re able to explore the flying ship of Captain Greatbeard, the guy responsible for dropping you into these levels in the first place. You’ll get to meet and interact with his oddball crew, and perhaps find a few secrets along the way.